If you are in the delightful role of parent to the groom, prepare for a rollercoaster of joy, laughter, and maybe a few happy tears. As the wedding day draws near, you might find yourself stepping into a significant role filled with traditions and responsibilities. However, it can be tricky to find guidance on wedding etiquette for parents of the groom, as normally, you have a smaller role in wedding planning compared to the bride’s family.
That’s why Viva Wedding Photography has compiled a list of expectations for you. From financial responsibilities to your duties on the big day, each section of this guide will help you take a step toward creating a wedding celebration filled with warmth and happiness.
Common wedding etiquette for the groom’s parents
During the wedding planning process
Communicate with the bride’s parents
If the parents of the happy couple have not yet been formally introduced, one of the important wedding etiquette for parents of the groom is to reach out to the future in-laws. You should extend an invitation for a meal, either at home or at a restaurant, where both families can come together to celebrate the couple’s engagement.
The invitation can be extended to both the siblings of the couple and their grandparents. Getting to know the families of the groom and bride before the wedding day is an excellent way to bring both sides together.
Providing the bride and groom with a guest list
As the guest list is compiled, there will be a slew of friends and family members to sort through and organize, and the groom’s parents should be involved in this sometimes time-consuming process. Traditionally, you are allowed to invite a particular number of guests. So, you should give the bride and groom the mailing addresses of any friends or family members invited to the wedding.
If any guests from the groom’s family fail to respond by the RSVP date, your responsibility is to contact invited guests to see whether or not they will be attending the wedding. This will help alleviate some of the burden of responsibility for the couple.
Hosting the rehearsal dinner
A common wedding etiquette for the groom’s parents is to take on the responsibility of organizing and hosting the rehearsal dinner. In addition, you are typically in charge of hosting any other welcome parties for the remaining guests. You have the option to utilize the couple’s wedding planner to assist with the event, or you can choose to plan it all on your own.
The level of formality for the rehearsal dinner is also totally up to you. It can range from a formal affair to a more casual gathering. Considering this, it is important for it to be somehow connected to the theme of the wedding.
Offering financial support
The days when the parents of the bride (or groom) solely cover the wedding expenses are long gone. In modern times, the responsibility of footing the wedding bill typically falls on the couple getting married. However, if you have the means, you can choose to assist your son and his soon-to-be spouse in handling some of their wedding-related costs.
If you’re wondering, “What do the groom’s parents pay for?” here are answers for you:
- The bride’s wedding rings
By the time a wedding comes around, the groom has already purchased and presented an engagement ring to his future bride. The responsibility of purchasing the bride’s wedding ring, which will be given to her during the ceremony, falls upon the groom or his family. In some cases, the groom’s parents may contribute towards the ring’s cost to alleviate some financial pressure on the couple.
- Marriage license
The cost of marriage licenses varies depending on the state. While it may not be a significant expense, there are instances where the groom’s family may generously offer to cover the cost and facilitate the legal process for the couple to exchange their vows.
- Rehearsal dinner
According to wedding etiquette for parents of the groom, it is customary for you to cover the entire expense of the rehearsal dinner, even though the bride’s family and friends also attend the event. This includes the costs for food, beverages, venue fees, entertainment, and transportation.
- The groom’s attire
Just as it is traditional for the bride’s parents to buy her dress, it is common for the groom’s parents to purchase his nuptial clothing. The attire for this occasion may consist of a suit or tuxedo, a dress shirt, socks, shoes, and/or accessories.
- Personal Flowers
The floral costs related to the wedding party are also one of the answers to the question, “What do the groom’s parents pay for?”. It consists of the bride’s bouquet, boutonnières for the groomsmen and ushers, as well as corsages and mini bouquets for honored guests.
- Gifts for groomsmen
Groomsmen play a vital role in the wedding festivities, standing by the groom’s side with steadfast support and jovial companionship. In recognition of their contributions, the groom’s parents traditionally take charge of preparing gifts that express heartfelt thanks.
- Officiant’s Fee or Cash Gift
Based on our experience, the cost of hiring a wedding officiant tends to range from $100 to $350. Typically, religious wedding officiants do not require a fee when hired. Alternatively, they may ask for a donation or their wedding night accommodation to be taken care of. As the groom’s parents, the amount you choose to donate is entirely up to you.
- Exit transportation
In the grand finale of a wedding celebration, the departure of the newlyweds is a moment of magic, and it falls on the groom’s parents to ensure this exit is not only memorable but also stylish. Traditionally, the groom’s parents undertake the responsibility of organizing and financing the exit transportation for the happy couple.
- Honeymoon costs
In contemporary times, it has become common for couples to save money together or request wedding guests to contribute towards specific aspects of their honeymoon as a gift. However, it is worth noting that according to wedding etiquette for parents of the groom, the responsibility of covering the entire cost of the honeymoon falls upon the groom’s parents. This includes all aspects of the trip, including flights, accommodations, and excursions.
Sharing family traditions
As the groom’s parents, you are responsible for informing the couple about any cultural or religious traditions from your family background, especially if you’d like your son to consider incorporating them into the wedding ceremony and/or reception.
It is important not to assume that your son knows what they are. If the couple decides to include any additional elements in their ceremony and provide descriptions for them in the wedding program, it is advisable to proofread the descriptions to ensure their accuracy.
Offering support to your son
Getting married is a significant milestone in life, and the process of planning a wedding can often be overwhelming and chaotic. Make sure to be there for him, offering practical marriage advice and helping ease his worry during the planning stage. You can also offer your assistance in wedding planning tasks, such as helping him research the necessary steps to obtain his marriage license.
In addition, you can leverage your strengths to provide a helping hand. Do you have crafting talent? If the wedding will be held outdoors, you can assist with various DIY projects, such as constructing yard games or making wedding favors. Are you skilled at creating legendary cocktails? You can assist the couple in planning their bar menu and creating their own signature cocktail. By spending time with the happy couple, you will gain insight into their needs and identify the areas where you can provide the most assistance.
One thing you can never do wrong when it comes to wedding etiquette for the groom’s parents is to remember your manners. Do not presume the bride and groom will desire your help; instead, offer it without any expectations or conditions. Even if they decline, your act of kindness will still be remembered.
During the big day
The duties of the mother and/or father of the groom are not over yet. As the groom’s family, there are several important tasks for you to fulfill on your son’s wedding day, which include:
Get ready with the groom
If you are the groom’s father, traditional protocol advises you to spend the morning of the big day getting ready with him. Make sure that your son is prepared and punctual. In case you are his mom, according to mother-of-the-groom etiquette, you will not be with your son at this time. You are, however, welcome to visit him before you begin preparing yourself. You can bring him breakfast and offer encouragement, which will absolutely be appreciated.
Be present for photos
Family portraits are typically taken during the wedding preparations and immediately following the wedding ceremony. Make sure that you are fully prepared for the photo session. Additionally, if the wedding photographer requires assistance, kindly offer to gather other family members as needed.
Walking down the aisle
Both parents of the groom play important roles during the ceremony. You have the option to either walk down the aisle together or accompany the groom before taking their seats at the front of the venue, specifically on the right side. If you and your son’s other parent are divorced, wedding etiquette for parents of the groom still allows you to walk down the aisle separately.
Making a speech
The newlyweds may ask you to offer a wedding toast during the reception as the groom’s parents. This is your opportunity to introduce your son to your new spouse’s family by highlighting some of his remarkable qualities and providing a glimpse into his childhood. In your wedding speech, it is important to express gratitude to the guests for attending and extend a warm welcome to your son or daughter-in-law as they become part of the family.
Standing in the receiving line
If the couple has chosen to greet their guests through a receiving line, it’s common wedding etiquette for parents of the groom to stand with the newlyweds and your new in-laws. Both fathers can be excused, leaving the mothers to support the pair. In a traditional opposite-sex wedding, the customary order of procession is as follows: the bride’s parents first, followed by the happy couple, and then the groom’s parents.
Dancing with the bride
Parent dances are common at weddings, and the dances of the groom’s parents are no exception. A mother-of-the-groom etiquette rule is participating in the mother-son during the wedding celebration.
However, the dancing does not stop there! Once the party begins, it is important for each parent to take some time to dance with their son and his new spouse. For instance, if your son marries a woman, the groom’s father might politely ask the bride for a dance.
The groom’s parents wedding gift etiquette
Give gifts for the bride and groom
As the groom’s parents, if you are providing financial support for the wedding, it is not necessary for you to give the couple an additional large gift. Covering their portion of the wedding expenses is already a generous gift in itself.
If you have the resources and desire, a gift for the pair will undoubtedly be appreciated. Plus, it is considered good mother-of-the-groom etiquette to present the bride with a small gift; this gesture will help you bond with your future daughter-in-law while also welcoming her to the family. When thinking about a gift for the couple, consider something that is both meaningful and practical within your budget.
Receive gifts from the couple
The couple may present a little gift to both sets of parents as a token of their appreciation not only for your help with the wedding but also for your love and guidance throughout the years. The gift can be given either at the rehearsal dinner or in a private setting before the ceremony.
Feel free to open the present if the couple offers it to you privately. However, if you are given the gift in a group setting, wait until all of the gifts have been presented before opening your gift.
>>> Read more:
- 6 Wedding Thank-you Card Etiquette: How To Express Gratitude
- Golden Wedding Invitation Etiquette: Guide To Avoid Mistakes
- Wedding Etiquette For Parents Of The Bride: Best Guide 2023
As the curtains draw close on this guide to wedding etiquette for parents of the groom, remember that your role is not just about fulfilling traditions; it’s about creating everlasting memories. Whether you’re picking out rings or crafting heartfelt toasts, embrace the joy, the laughter, and the sweet moments that make weddings truly magical. Viva Wedding Photography hopes your journey through this wedding wonderland will be filled with love, laughter, and a lifetime of cherished moments.